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  #11  
Old 04-07-2013, 10:12 AM
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I'm on my phone right now so cant type too much but have you tested for Lymes?

Jackson came up limping randomly before and I thought the same thing - it had been snowing so maybe he just twisted etc. it ended up being Lymes. Cleared up with a round of doxy and a few days pain meds.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2013, 10:27 AM
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Sloan broke another toe, I think, she came back limping after crashing into an xpen and I couldn't find any swelling at all for a day and a half, probably even two. Her toe swelled up and she would walk on it until she did too much. We're getting another xray on monday, fitting because she broke or damaged it about 15 minutes into coming home from the vet after xraying her dislocated dewclaw.

Keeping this dog down has been heart breaking, we let her do a bit more than most would on rest but she's all go all the time and she was beginning to get cranky with the other dogs when she normally loves them.

I really hope you find the problem, I know how upsetting it can be to not know. Double check the muscle for a soft tissue slug-like lump or hard worm-like scarring. Sloan also got one of those on her chest a bit ago but shown no signs of it, if it had been on a leg or shoulder I bet things would have been different.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2013, 10:38 AM
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Ugh, hate HATE front limb lameness. So many soft tissue injuries possible... think of all the things people get - carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, rotator cuff - and we can't ask dogs "does it hurt when you do this?" (Well, we can, but most of them are too stoic to answer.) PLUS, neck and upper back pain can refer so easily to the front leg.

If it's in your budget, I would just go straight to a good orthopedic surgeon and/or PT (many of them work together these days). A lot of good orthopedists are really good at diagnosing soft tissue causes of lameness and just because they're surgeons doesn't mean the solution will be surgical.

Also agree with Adrianne to really feel through the muscles and other soft tissues for any knots, tight muscles, tight bands, or anything that feels like scarring or lumps. An easy way to test for neck pain is to have a dog stand/stay squarely and gently lure (don't force!!) the nose towards the butt to the left and right... most dogs can get all the way easily, if they balk at a certain point or consistently try to move their whole body (if they understand that they're not supposed to) instead of just the head, that can be neck, upper back, or sometimes shoulder pain.

You can also compare the range of motion of each joint (wrist/carpus, elbow, shoulder) on left compared to right. To do this precisely, you need an instrument called a goniometer, but you can use a protractor in a pinch or even just do it subjectively. The angle at full flexion and full extension should be pretty similar on each side for each joint, and I believe there might be published "normals" for various sizes of dogs. If one joint won't flex or extend properly, it might clue you in to the region of the problem even if not the exact injury.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:56 AM
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At this point I could not cope with Steve without his rehab people. That's where I would head with him (Steve was lame on a front leg once and it was a pulled tricep).

Sending many good thoughts to you and Gusto. Resting a young active dog is the pits.
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  #15  
Old 04-08-2013, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
Yup, that sounds almost exactly like what we are dealing with. He goes from looking perfect to playing with a ball for 2 minutes to limping for 5 minutes to fine again to 'holy crap, he just got off the bed and is nearly on three legs'. All that about 10 times a day.

Was it mostly just chiro that you did as far as treatment?
PT/DVM, Chiro, cold laser, acupuncture...we pretty much threw the whole kaboodle at it.

To answer JacksonsMom's Q, we did get Kim tested for Lyme as well, but she came back negative.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacksonsMom View Post
I'm on my phone right now so cant type too much but have you tested for Lymes?

Jackson came up limping randomly before and I thought the same thing - it had been snowing so maybe he just twisted etc. it ended up being Lymes. Cleared up with a round of doxy and a few days pain meds.
My old dog (who had chronic lyme) would come up lame when it flared up, but it was more of a "stiff, everything is sore" lame rather than an "ouch, this leg hurts" lame. I don't want to generalize to if that's typical, but I wanted to add my experience with lameness due to Lyme Disease. It never made her hobble around on three legs - rather she'd just be very "off."
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  #17  
Old 04-08-2013, 04:01 PM
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Sorry I've been so slow to reply to this; I keep reading on my phone at work, but I can't stand trying to type more than a word or two on the phone.

He was tested for, and clear for, Lyme a few weeks ago. Given our climate, I think the odds of him having contracted it since then are pretty slim. Also, given that it was acute onset after running in the woods, I'm still leaning towards injury.

I've been incredibly frustrated the last few days, having never dealt with this sort of thing in dogs. When my horse is lame, I can call up my vet and have a lameness exam done, they can do flexions, ultrasound, x-rays. I went in for a lameness issue, and my dog got chiro without the vet even watching him move. I called that vet back today to let them know that he is still the same (after the "rest until Sunday" was over), and was told to wait a week or two, then bring him back for more chiro. When I expressed concern that there was an actual injury that may be the issue, I was told to drop him off for x-rays. All of which, I'm being told by dog friends, is pretty much normal.

The good news is that, given some of the recommendations here, I've been looking for rehab vets in our area, and have found two possibilities. One of which is the only Vermont vet listed as a member of American Association of Rehabilitation Vets (Is that a real thing? A good thing?). I may call them up tomorrow and see if I can get an idea of what a visit there would cost. It's not incredibly close to me, but not a horrible drive either. And it seems like they might be a little closer to what I'm expecting for this issue.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:34 PM
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Yeah, small animal vets are somewhat useless for lameness. The one chiro vet I use told me that she became a chiropractor, because it gave her the chance to actually fix lameness. And that the joke in vet school was that dogs have 3 legs and a kick stand.

I wouldn't tend to bother with a small animal vet for lameness, unless you suspect a fracture or a cruciate rupture (not applicable in front end lameness, of course) An orthopedist and/or rehab vet is the way to go, if chiropractic isn't effective.

I should add that the orthopedic vet who diagnosed the iliaposas strain in my friend's dog also looked at her Stafford bitch (Pirate's sister, Eva) when she was suffering intermittent front end lameness. First couldn't find it (nobody could), then when X-rays were done, diagnosed biceps tendinitis, and the prescribed cure was to remove the biceps tendon!

The rehab vet, though expensive, was able to come up with another diagnosis (which I've embarrassingly forgotten), and that the biceps tendinitis was a result of that, and through a series of exercises, Eva was able to recover without having a body part removed.

So it appears a rehab vet is the best option, but I don't know how to find a good one. This is the one that fixed Eva (obviously inconveniently located for you)
http://www.backontrackvetrehab.com/id17.htm
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  #19  
Old 04-11-2013, 08:03 PM
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I'm so happy I can update this with good news. After recommendations here, I started asking around for rehab vets in our area, and came up with two, one of whom had some really good recommendations from other sport people. We went to see her on Wednesday, and had a great experience. Full on lameness exam with lots of flexions, watching him move, etc. She found a little bit of effusion in the bicep, and said she thought it was probably a mild strain. She also found the same spot of tenderness on his mid-back that the chiro did, and said that was often a trigger point for ligament and tendon pain.

She thought he'd finish healing pretty quickly even if we did nothing, but suggested the laser if I wanted to try to move things along faster. She treated both the bicep and the spot on his back, and sent us home with instructions to start letting him do more, including "run really fast if he wants", but to still lay off jumping/contacts for a bit longer. I let him go to agility, and just worked on tunnel entries and start lines with bars on the ground, and he was happy and sound

He's going back for another round with the laser on Monday; the vet thought 2 or maybe 3 treatments at the most would take care of things.

I'm so relieved to have him on the road to recovery, and we are all so much happier that he gets to run again! I really appreciate all the comments here; they definitely got me pointed in the right direction.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:15 PM
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Good news! Yay!
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